Scared of snakes...
Each summer my facebook and email fills with pleas for help about scary snakes in the yard, and friendly neighbors offering to kill or relocate the snake. Most often the snake they are worried about is the Eastern Rat Snake.
Eastern Rat Snake life cycle...
The snakes are active from early April through early December and lay about 20 eggs in June/July which hatch in August/September. Most of the young don't survive - either succumbing to predators or the cold weather.
Eastern Rat Snakes eat rodents and...
As their name suggests, Easter Rat Snakes eat rats and other rodents such as mice, as well as birds and eggs. They are constrictors so squeeze their prey to death but swallow eggs whole. We people shouldn't be afraid of Eastern Rat Snakes - if anything, they're helping us by eating some of the mice that may sneak into our homes!
Snakes in Maryland...
The Maryland Department of Natural Resources provides an excellent guide describing the 27 species of snakes that can be found in this area. Only 2 of these species, the Copperheads and the Timber Rattlesnakes, are venomous. Below are some of the snakes we in the suburbs are most likely to come across:
Snakes are our friends, so please don't be scared!
Resources and further information...
Sharing a little bit of science in our everyday world .
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